15 Things You’ll Learn About Your Partner When You Both WFH

You don’t really know a person till you hear them say, "OK, let’s circle back and touch base on that later." This, my friends, is one of the many side effects of working from home with your partner. Not only are you spending much more time together while social distancing, but you’re also getting a little peek into each other’s work personalities — quirky habits and all.

Typically, you both spend 40 hours apart each week, as you go off to work. But now that a lot of business is being conducted from home — with only a table or thin wall to separate you — it can feel like getting to know each other all over again. Do they get up for coffee 100 times? Do they use corporate lingo? It can be funny to see this side of your SO, but it can also be a bit annoying.

You are, after all, juggling different work schedules and demands, Jaclyn Lopez Witmer, a licensed clinical psychologist at Therapy Group of NYC, tells Bustle. So that, coupled with the close proximity, could leave you feeling more irritable or short-tempered than usual. And that’s OK.

If you’re annoyed, remember that communication is key. "Remind yourselves that you’re on the same team," Witmer says, and then talk about how you’ve been feeling, chat about boundaries, and, when all else fails, try to make light of each other’s quirks.

1. Mandy, 33

"We’re both working from home right now, and neither of us does typically. I’ve learned that my husband has the brain capacity to watch non-stop news in the background. He literally refuses to switch it up with a fun show to break it up."

2. Mary, 32

"My partner doesn’t get up from their chair the entire day — at all. They’ve been working from home for years, and I never knew this. It makes sense because whenever I’ve asked them to do an errand or get our mail during the day, they never did."

3. Michelle, Deputy Lifestyle Editor

"I didn’t realize how loud my boyfriend was until we both started working from home. He screams on calls, both phone, and Zoom. I can’t even go into the next room to take another call because he’s so loud. He also needs to have the last word on each call — he’s that guy!"

4. Chelsey, 29

"I have learned she does not close the bathroom cabinet all the way. She has learned that every time I have a thought, I have to say it out loud, requiring her to take off her headphones, listen to me, and nod. Don’t worry, we are still having plenty of laughs."

5. Krystin, 33

"One thing that I noticed while working from home together is how dedicated he is to work. He absolutely loves being an engineer, and it is a treat to see him so ‘in the zone.’ […] It’s like a sneak peek deeper into him as a person."

6. Margo, 30

"How many times my boyfriend shakes his protein shaker. He shakes it five to six times, sets it down, and then does it again five to six times. This is a continual process for about 10 minutes. This sound should only be permitted at happy hour, and I’m not aware of an 8 a.m. happy hour yet, but I guess all rules are out the door now, right?"

7. Courtney, 29

"I’ve learned he basically talks on the phone all day long. Thank God we have an office where he can do his work/talk on the phone, but his voice often still carries throughout the house. I’ve learned to do homework with music or the TV on just to have background noise, so I’m not constantly hearing him speak. I am extremely grateful we have an office, so we have separate areas to do our work."

8. Kate, 32

"He literally doesn’t use paper. Not even sticky notes."

9. Chrissie, 33

"He sits on his computer all day working on drafts biting his nails. I have never seen him do that before. He told me that he only does it when he is working and that when we go on vacation, and he is away from work, he notices that his nails grow. On the flip side, he told me that I talk to myself a lot when working!"

10. Khush, 27

"My boyfriend’s family is in India, and living with him made me realize how much time he actually spends talking to his family every day, especially his dad, and how strong of a bond they share."

11. Paul, 36

"One thing that’s really interesting so far is our interaction with our dogs. She used to come home and love on them every day so hard, and by the end of my working day, I was done playing with them. She never understood how much work they really are to be around all day, and how at times, they just won’t stop pestering you. She’s getting the full dose of that now, though, and realizing that these dogs are a pretty easy distraction throughout the day as they want to go in and out, need water, nudge your hand, accidentally send your emails before you are done typing, and so on. The love is there, but reality has finally set in."

12. Emily, 24

"We definitely both have different styles of work. He gets annoyed by the little messes I create around the house from photographing products, or as I call it ‘expressing my creativity.’ He is easily able to tune out distractions and noises, whereas I need a more controlled environment and quiet to focus."

13. Lindsey, 30

"My husband regularly works very long hours, and it was interesting to see just how much of his day is spent on conference calls! He doesn’t even get to begin work until most people are logging off for the day."

14. Tess, 23

"His work has been really slowing the last few weeks, so he’s home all day and never has much to do. The biggest challenge that I’ve faced having him around a lot more is that he is super distracting. He gets bored easily and tries to hang out with me even though I’m working. He always wants to go out to get lunch somewhere when I normally eat at home. […] He’s funny and adorable but also very distracting."

15. Wendi, 42

"We have different habits — he discovered I work in total silence, and he listens to music. I also start my workday significantly earlier than him (sometimes I’m at my desk by 5 a.m. to write). So, I’ve taken advantage of the earlier hours to get my harder writing out of the way and have also learned to work with headphones and play light music when he’s on a client call."

Expert:

Jaclyn Lopez Witmer, licensed clinical psychologist at Therapy Group of NYC

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